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REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA

Pago

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MISCELLANEOUS COAST GUARD HEARINGS

MEDICAL CARE FOR CERTAIN COAST AND GEODETIC

SURVEY PERSONNEL

TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 1963

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON COAST GUARD, COAST AND

GEODETIC SURVEY AND NAVIGATION OF THE
COMMITTEE ON MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 219, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Edward A. Garmatz (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. GARMATZ. The subcommittee will come to order.

The first bill is H.R. 74, a bill to provide medical care for certain Coast and Geodetic Survey retired ship's officers and crewmembers and their dependents, and for other purposes. (The bill and agency reports follow:)

(H.R. 74, 88th Cong., 1st sess.)

A BILL To provide medical care for certain Coast and Geodetic Survey retired ship's

officers and crew members and their dependents, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, subject to regulations of the President, retired ship's officers and retired members of the crews of vessels of the Coast and Geodetic Survey shall be entitled to medical, surgical, and dental treatment and hospitalization at facilities of the Public Health Service: Provided, That the ship's officer or crew member, (1) was on active duty as a vessel employee of the Coast and Geodetic Survey on July 1, 1962, and his employment as a vessel employee was continuous from that date until retirement, or (2) was retired as a vessel employee of the Coast and Geodetic Survey on or before July 1, 1962.

(b) Subject to regulations of the President, dependent members of families (as defined in such regulations) of ships' officers and members of crews of vessels of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, whether on active duty or retired, shall be furnished medical advice and outpatient treatment by the Public Health Service at its hospitals and relief stations and, if suitable accommodations are available, they shall also be furnished hospitalization at hospitals of the Public Health Service: Provided, That the ships' officer or crew member (1) was on active duty as a vessel employee of the Coast and Geodetic Survey on July 1, 1962, and his employment as a vessel employee has been continuous from that time, or (2) was on active duty as a vessel employee of the Coast and Geodetic Survey on July 1, 1962, and his employment as a vessel employee was continuous from that time until retirement, or (3) was retired as a vessel employee of the Coast and Geodetic Survey on or before July 1, 1962. When dependent members of families are hospitalized, a per diem charge, at such uniform rate as may be prescribed from time to time for the hospitalization of dependents of members of the uniformed services at hospitals of the uniformed services pursuant to section 1078(a) of title 10, United States Code, shall be made.

(c) The Coast and Geodetic Survey shall furnish proper identification to those persons entitled to medical treatment under the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 2. (a) Section 326(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 253(b)) is repealed.

(b) Section 326 (c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 253(c)) is amended by inserting the words “or Coast and Geodetic Survey" after the words “Coast Guard" both times the words appear in the subsection.

THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE,

Washington, D.C., February 19, 1963. Hon. HERBERT C. BONNER, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representa

tives, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in reply to your request for the views of this Department with respect to H.R. 74, a bill to provide medical care for certain Coast and Geodetic Survey retired ships' officers and crewmembers and their dependents, and for other purposes.

Legislation for this purpose is an item in the legislative program of this Department. A draft bill identical with H.R. 74 except for the eligibility date has been submitted by the Department to the President of the Senate for introduction in the Senate. Since H.R. 74 has been introduced we are not submitting our draft bill to the Speaker of the House of Representatives for introduction in the House.

The Department recommends enactment of legislation for this purpose. However, if H.R. 74 is acted on, we recommend that the date “July 1, 1962" be changed to “July 1, 1963” wherever it appears in the bill.

Enclosed for your information are copies of the Statement of Purpose and Need for such legislation which accompanied the draft bill we submitted to the President of the Senate.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there would be no objection to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely yours,

C. D. MARTIN, Jr.,

Acting Secretary of Commerce. Enclosure.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND NEED FOR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE MEDICAL

CARE FOR CERTAIN COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY RETIRED SHIP'S OFFICERS AND CREW MEMBERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

The attached legislation would provide permanent authority for treatment at Public Health Service facilities of retired vessel employees and their dependents of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. This authority was inadvertently repealed by section 5 of Public Law 86-415, approved April 8, 1960, 74 Stat. 34 but has been continued on a year to year basis by language in the Public Health Service appropriation acts. The bill would also provide for an eventual transition to coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959, rather than under the Public Health Service Act, for retired vessel employees and for the dependents of all vessel employees, active or retired.

For many years ships' officers and crewmembers of the Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels when on active duty have been authorized to receive medical care at PHS facilities on the same basis as other seamen employed on American vessels. In 1939, retired ships' officers and crewmembers of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and dependents of retired or active officers and crewmembers were also authorized to receive such care. In 1960, in amending the Public Health Service Act to provide parity of treatment for members of the uniformed services (which do not include the vessel employees covered by this proposal) the Congress inadvertently repealed the authority to provide medical care to retired vessel employees and to the dependents of such retired employees, while leaving unchanged the authority to provide medical care to vessel employees on active duty and their dependents (sec. 5(d) of Public Law 86-415).

Present vessel employees were hired and have served for a period of years with the understanding that they and their dependents would receive Public Health Service medical care during active service and after retirement. Elimination of this service for those now retired would be a severe hardship and is inconsistent

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